Stepping from the car, there is a crisp chill to the air.
A whispered indication Fall would be creeping over this lush, reserved land in the days to come; the last of the blossomed wild flowers dotting hill sides and meadows in vivid yellows and purples would start to wilt away while the vibrant hues of green will start to change in to the ever mystifying reds and oranges. Letting my eyes drift across the horizon, I am greeted by a sprawling range of snow-capped mountains. Thick white clouds hang low overhead ending seamlessly where the looming giants begin their steep incline. Delicate tendrils of morning sunlight peak through to dance over the deep evergreens which are surely covered in a healthy layer of dew this early in the morning. Drawing in a long breath, I can already smell it while a warmth burrows and blooms inside me, a delicate smile creeping across my face unnoticed.
Three days ago, I had no plan, no inclination of departing my busy, chaotic city of Manhattan. But when my calendar unexpectedly cleared for the next couple of days, I jumped on the opportunity for an escape. Weeks had been dragging past and a slow build-up of frustration and annoyance had begun to wear on me. Always rushing, always doing, it’s the never-ending energy that is always spoken of in association to New York City. Yes, it is the city that never sleeps. Yet, with the upside to that energy, there is a downside. A side which doesn’t affect all and for those it does, affects each differently. I could feel the nagging chipping away at my soul. I could see the depression looming over me and felt a tautness in a new muscle every day. A break was necessary.
An escape to a place of soft cricket chirps and scents of tumble weeds mixed with the earthy richness of wet dirt.
A place of fond memories, you see years ago a small girl with gleaming blue eyes, blonde curly hair, and a face dotted with freckles would have been the first to jump from the car that had held her captive. For days she and her family had made the journey from Michigan to Colorado with only brief stops to grab a package of stale chips or her favorite, “a brown pop”. An endless journey it seemed at times, when only mere hours had passed by. With her door flinging open as a result to an overly energized kick, she would clamber down and race into the arms of her favorite gentle giant. A man who equally welcomed her with a compressing squeeze that radiated love and a space in their heart that had stood empty for far too long would quickly fill. Her grandfather, feathering her cheek with kisses, would leave an unmistakable tingle left behind from the coarse prick of his whiskers. (A sensation soon to become her most treasured and blissful remembrance of a man who imprinted more on her life than anyone else.)
This was a girl who would wake early in the morning hoping to catch the elk grazing out the kitchen window or to simply curl up on the deck beside her grandmother to enjoy the sun rising while a song whistled on the wind. The world didn’t touch this girl. She simply lived for the moment, the delightful enjoyment of accompaniment from those she loved and things which made her smile. In a years’ time, she would be eager to grow up but for now she simply savored.
Some would say a wise girl for her age, but she did not realize the wisdom of her action, merely followed her uncomplicated heart. There was no thought to “I should enjoy this moment”,
she simply did.
Returning to this land, I seek to remember that girl. Reunite with that piece of my childhood soul stolen by the spirits of the mountains. Yet, stolen isn’t the right word rather guarded or kept safe would be more accurate. Had that piece remained with me, her soft laughter would have all too quickly been drummed out by the harsh honking and pounding beat of feet on pavement. The glimmer of innocence and need to enjoy everything would have been dismissed all too rapidly. I, now 14 years her senior, wouldn’t be able to return to this land and within the release of a single breath feel every ache, every clenched muscle relinquish its power. It’s within the rolling hills of the valley, the beauty of the looming giants just out of reach, the soft ripple of the cascading streams, and the crisp snap of the pine branches whipping in the wind, that I can simply slow down and be.
Here, a breeze neither warm nor cold drifts over my skin, carrying a soft hum of a tune as my hair is lifted off my shoulders. Wrapping my traveling sweater tightly around my waist, I feel the comfort of simply being able to stand at the edge of pure, simple, untouched beauty and enjoy it. Life doesn’t last forever but this moment, this feeling will.
Really hope you enjoyed this little insight into a journey that quickly became a turning point for me.
Thanks for reading Lovelies!